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Odds and ends on the weekend

I am a woman of my word, and I have plenty of paper in my printer, so yesterday I printed out my 8-week pass from the Discovery Health: National Body Challenge for Bally Total Fitness as promised and headed for the gym. But first I drove around the mall and through some commercial properties’ parking lots, not because I was lost, just because, um, I like to make sure no one is following me. And I wanted to search for pot holes to report to the department of public works.

Next week I have a training session with Aaron (name changed to protect innocent personal trainers), who recently lost 50 pounds himself. We’ll see how it goes, though after reading an article a reader named Greg sent me about 10 Things Your Gym Won’t Tell You, I’ll be happy to get through the experience without contracting a staph infection or having my spine severed by the weight machine.

Bally’s and Bed, Bath and Beyond are in the same mall complex. Since I was in the neighborhood, and since I had my gift card, and since I had a 20% off coupon, how could I not get the mango slicer? The apple slicer now has a friend to slice it up with.

Mango slicer

On Thursday night I was on the Dr. Fitness and the Fat Guy radio show podcast (broadcasting live each week from Atlanta, GA, USA). I didn’t mention this beforehand because I figured if I sounded like a dumbass on the show I would pretend it didn’t happen and mention it to no one. However, I think I did okay, even if I’m not quite Letterman-ready. I didn’t start cursing like a sailor or drop the phone, anyway. You can listen to the show here. I’m the first guest, but there are also several other interesting interviews, including a guy who knows everything about tea.

Contests! If you have been sitting here wondering “How can I get a year’s worth of popcorn and a 1 year 2-movies-at-a-time Netflix subscription for free?” (and I know you have) you can wonder no more. Roni’s Weight Watchen Page(s) has teamed with Orville Redenbacher (the company, not the guy, because he died a while back and séances are expensive) to start a contest (details here) with that prize. All you have to do is write a blog entry that links to Roni and Orville and presumably let Roni know you did so, and you’re all entered. Like I am now. Of course now that I’ve told you, you’re probably going to enter and thus reduce my own chances of winning, so why don’t you look at some cute kittens instead?

Or you can give blood. Manic Mommy will put $1 into the pot for everyone who enters her contest and proves they have given blood this month (preferably their own blood since I don’t want to encourage back alley exsanguinations of the homeless). The details are at the bottom of this entry. This has nothing to do with weight loss, I just thought it was a worthy cause and I have no plans of entering it myself. I have nothing against worthy causes, it’s just, OMG, needles! When I was fat I could legitimately say I didn’t donate because the nurses couldn’t find my veins, but now I just have to admit that I am a wuss and I won’t voluntarily go near a needle even for a free cookie. (See, there are some things I really won’t do for cookies.) This makes me a bad person, I know, but you don’t want my bad blood anyway, do you? If they could somehow get the blood out of my body without pain or needles, I’d be all over this. Alas, I’ll leave the cash to nobler people than myself.

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Cindy • January 6, 2008 at 9:29 am

Hi PQ,

Giving blood isn’t really painful. The worst part is the finger prick to test your iron level. The needle in your arm is nothing. The lengthy questionnaire each and every time is the real deterrent…how many times can you say you’ve never had sex with a man who has had sex with a man?! You should really consider giving this a try. I’ve been giving blood for over twenty years (even when I weighed over three hundred pounds and I was afraid I’d break the bed!). When I’m busy and don’t want to make the time to go (it takes about an hour or so, usually more, start to finish, even though you’re only on the table about 15 minutes…) I think of those I love and wonder when they might be the one who needs blood someday and how I would feel if there wasn’t the blood there to save their life. So I go when I can and don’t worry so much about the little pain, the uncomfortable questions… and yes, they usually have cookies and snacks waiting for you when you’re done. And on Christmas eve, when I gave last, they handed out free movie passes. You never know!

PQ – I can handle the pain. I survived a 9-hour gallbladder attack, so I figure I can handle just about most pain. It’s a mental thing. I get light-headed and faint and queasy. I do my best to try and relax, take deep breaths, relax my muscles, etc. but I still feel like I’m going to pass out or barf during the process.


K • January 6, 2008 at 10:38 am

I sympathise about the blood, because I am as squeamish as you. Dizzy, sick, weak at the knees. I can feel dizzy just reading about anything too biological.

I have given blood a few times, though. Best to go alone, at a quiet time of day if possible, and to take a book. I find having other people with me causes me to think more about what I’m doing, which doesn’t help.

That said, the last few times I’ve been I haven’t been able to donate because I have uncooperative veins, and getting all stressed and bruised for nothing has rather put me off. But only 2% of the population of Scotland donate, which is shameful, so I’ll have to give it another go!


america • January 6, 2008 at 10:50 am

Okay, so I actually DID want to see some cute kittens so I clicked the link. And then I watched some video of a dog being the “pupbassador” of “pupsville”. Which caused me to sit and stare and the monitor blinking speechlessly for a very long time. I will be forwarding all of my medical bills to you, PQ. For I am sure it will take years of therapy to make sense of what I saw.


Lora Ramirez • January 6, 2008 at 10:59 am

Nice interview! You sounded great! My favorite treat at Dairy Queen was the Oreo Cookie Blizzard! I haven’t had that in years. There aren’t any Dairy Queens in my city. That’s probably a good thing!


vickie • January 6, 2008 at 10:59 am

You are too funny!!!


dietgirl • January 6, 2008 at 11:24 am

I love Dr F and the fat guy, they are such sweeties. You sounded ace, PQ :)


dietgirl • January 6, 2008 at 11:24 am

PS i wish i knew when i lived in oz there was such a thing as a mango slicer, looks like you don’t waste any precious flesh with that, niiiiiiiice :)


Dinah Soar • January 6, 2008 at 11:45 am

You keep me in stitches, lauging that is. I’m a little slow when it comes to jokes…you were lost, uh, right? Off now to watch the podcast with you in it. :-p


Happy • January 6, 2008 at 11:51 am

The 10 things your gym won’t tell you article is going to give me nightmares. Crawling with bacteria? Ugh!

Do you suppose people would stare if I worked out in a bio-hazard suit?


Isabelle • January 6, 2008 at 11:58 am

Thanks so much for saying hello on my blog! I feel honoured – Dietgirl and PastaQueen on the same post! Looking forward to reading your book; hers is great and I’m sure yours will be too.


Bella • January 6, 2008 at 12:19 pm

I consider myself a fairly worldly person, but I had no idea there was such a thing a mango slicer. Cool! I haven’t bought whole mangoes in forever because I hate cutting them up. (I’ve been buying the pre-cut mangoes at Trader Joe’s for a couple of years now). This opens up a whole new world, doesn’t it? Ok, was that a bit overly excited just about mangoes? You just have no idea how much I like eating them. Thanks for sharing.

Btw, I’m steering clear of that gym article, because it’s hard enough for me to make it to the gym. That might stop things altogether with a valid excuse. :)


swizzlepop • January 6, 2008 at 2:00 pm

OMG you got it! How is it? Is it all that you thought? Would you totally recommend it? Anything so cool that I could convince my husband that we need the mango AND apple slicers? I have a huge stash of 20% off coupons (they taken them even if they are expired) so I would be getting a deal right?

Donating blood isn’t that bad, of course this is coming from someone who pays people to poke her with needles aka tattooing. Somehow I keep managing to get a new one every year which no longer lets me donate at least not until I have a year lapse in between inkings. I did used to donate though when I had a lull for a few years.

I loved your cute kitty distraction, totally cracked me up.

I’m going to ignore the 10 things/gym article because I know it will totally freak me out and I’m already a borderline germaphobe LOL

PQ – The mango slicer is lots of fun! It’s a bit harder to clean than the apple slicer since their is a curved point I have to try to wipe at. Thanks for the tip on the BBB coupons. I’ve always thrown them out when they expired.


VerseFameBeauty • January 6, 2008 at 3:33 pm

I, too, found the Pupbassador very disturbing. A little warning next time!! lol

PQ – Okay, I missed the Pupbassador when I linked to that. I agree, it is….odd.


Manic Mommy • January 6, 2008 at 6:13 pm

Giving blood = a piece of cake! Hee hee. But I can understand if someone is afraid of needles. I do thank you from the bottom of my now pintless vein for helping to promote the cause, and for those of you up for the challenge, come on over to Manic Mommy’s and get the details on how to participate!!! Thanks Pasta Queen! Maybe instead of Manic Mommy, my new moniker shall be Bloody Beeyotch?


Sally Parrott Ashbrook • January 6, 2008 at 6:15 pm

My husband and I did the Bally’s challenge 2 years ago, and the meeting with the trainer was, unfortunately, just a giant sales pitch. Once we told him we couldn’t afford his services, he just wandered around and vaguely pointed out which machines worked which part of the body. If I did it again, I would go in saying, “Sorry, I can’t afford your services” from the very beginning and would ask to go through a whole-body, basic weights work-out with the trainer during that time. And I would take notes. I imagine a decent trainer (unlike the guy we had) is supposed to be willing to do that there.

PQ – Thanks for the tip, Sally! I’ll be sure to tell him that up front.


Sarah J • January 6, 2008 at 8:04 pm

Hey PQ… I totally understand the fear! But, it helps to overcome the fear… I am here today because of blood transfusions from total strangers. Unfortunately, I can’t return the favor since I can’t give blood…so I try to be the poster child for why people give blood!

Let us know how the mango slicer works! I’m very curious!


Lauren • January 6, 2008 at 8:59 pm

you think you can distract me with cute kittens…….(half hour later) oh guess it’s that easy.


Rob • January 6, 2008 at 10:25 pm

I’ve don’t know exactly how I came across your site but I’m glad I did. Getting back into the healthy eating and fitness mindset (have even been doing south beach) and I get a real kick out of your stories – so much so that this is my first ever blog post.I’m 6’2 260 so have a bit to lose. I work in internet technologies /advertising and though I’m sure you are a great developer I think you’d be an amazingly sucessful weight loss coach and motivational speaker / writer. Best of luck to you with everthing.


TOWR • January 7, 2008 at 12:51 am

I love you for being afraid of needles. Afraid doesn’t even come close to what I feel for needles!!!


eva • January 7, 2008 at 9:01 am

I’m with you about the needles PQ. I didn’t think I minded them until I went to a physical for a new job and faited. It’s not all ladylike and graceful like in old movies. It’s humiliating with a nurse trying to push your head between your legs when you can’t even touch your toes! (At the time anyway)


Comments are now closed on all PastaQueen entries. The blog is an archive only so I don't have to deal with spammers. For fresh discussions please visit my new blog at JennetteFulda.com.

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Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JennetteFulda.com now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for keyboards ruined by coffee spit-takes or forehead wrinkles caused by deep thought.

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